Hems Court was originally a Workshop commissioned by Harry Hems, a church sculptor and woodcarver, who came to Exeter in 1866 to carry out work on the Royal Albert Memorial Museum. Woodwork from the workshop is currently on display at the museum, and a project called Moor Stories has been create to further explore this history.
Built in 1881-82, Hems Court was designed by the architect Robert Medley Fulford. It served to show off the best of Hems' work with stained glass, decorative leadwork and gothic detailing. The workshop produced carved stonework, furniture, stained glass, and memorials for churches and town halls all over Britain. There are many examples of his work around Exeter, including the Livery Dole martyrs memorial in Denmark Road.
When Harry Hems first arrived in Exeter, he found a horseshoe in the road, interpreted this as a good omen and decided to settle in Exeter. He kept the horseshoe and mounted it on the front of his workshop which became known as Ye Luckie Horseshoe Studios. You can still see this horseshoe on the front of the building today.